Metaphors and the library conference


USCGC_Eagle_honors_200th_anniversary_of_national_anthem_140913-G-BN626-001I am one of the lucky ones – librarians attending ACRL2017 in Baltimore, MD.

A good day at the conference includes intellectual awakenings, powerful fiction and social justice, unplanned conversations, new ideas and eureka moments, new fields to mine for horizontal thinking about libraries, conversations with friends and support.

Spatial metaphors about libraries and archives sparked my imagination with the poetry of language in Shannon Mattern‘s presentation to begin the day.

[I must go back and study the slides and ideas that garnered a lot of twitter chat: Resilience, Grit, and Other Lies: Academic Libraries and the Myth of Resiliency.]

Next up was the keynote of the day, the woman I didn’t know I knew from her clever writing about one of my obsessions, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. See her first post Outlander Series Premiere Recap: A Thoroughly Modern Woman by Roxane Gay. I am enlightened and look forward to reading everything this woman ever wrote. She is an authentic voice, a Midwesterner, a professor and, oh, so much more.

After a quick power lunch, oatmeal, and a lovely conversation about publishing and ebooks; I walked the exhibits, picked up pens, and bought some books which I hope to remember to pick up tomorrow.

The afternoon was insightful with Beyond the Commons: Moving from Co-location and Collaboration to Integration of Learning Services in Academic Libraries. On to my most productive thirty minutes with lightening talks – alas, so many great ideas, so little time.

Next up was The Social Future of Academic Libraries: Emerging Perspectives on Engagement and Intellectual Capital. I am now thinking about social capital, the intangible benefits of engaged librarians, social networking and the strength of weak ties. I have so much to read up on and I haven’t even mentioned the presented papers I have marked for future reading!

Rounding out a most wonderful day at the conference were late afternoon libations with friends and colleagues; a serendipitous meeting with an new library friend and AUL from Stoneybrook, NY and much talk about library management.

At the end of this very long day, I’m sailing home with my handsome spouse. He brought my power cord so I could work late and be prepared for a workshop tomorrow. What a great guy!

I’m a lucky librarian today.

The theme of this year’s conference – At the Helm – keeps me wildly occupied with “Don’t Rock the Boat, Baby” melodic ruminations. I’ll save the leaky rowboat to Titanic metaphors for a later post!



About Kimberly Hoffman

Twitter: KMH_nowinVA
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